A proven plan for transforming your life by changing the way you think about yourself and your potential. I finally read all of Maurer’s book, in one sitting while traveling late last year, and I really enjoyed it. Ironically, there are some lessons from the clinical realm that we can, I think, bring back to the workplace. Maurer suggests that small baby steps changes, as we use in workplace kaizen, circumvent the amygdala because small changes aren’t overwhelming or scary. Now you might be thinking that small gradual improvements are fine, but we also need innovation (a trendy business buzzword). What is a new workplace habit, related to Lean or otherwise, that you have wanted to start, but you didn’t because it seemed too overwhelming? Later in the book, Maurer creates an interesting twist, as the kaizen principles (originating in the workplace) are brought BACK into the workplace, as he described how staff at a medical clinic really turned around their operations and became successful through these same ideas he had used with his patients. Maurer also makes a great case for how we start, with kaizen, by learning how to see and address little problems. All in all, I found this an enjoyable and thought-provoking read – for my personal life and in the professional realm. BufferPlease consider leaving a comment or sharing this post via social media.Mark GrabanMark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Thank you for reviewing this work on your blog and bringing it to light for the lean community, Mark. FYI, Maurer has a new book out from McGraw-Hill — a little guidebook about the kaizen philosophy. Welcome to my blog, which is all about improving hospitals and other types of organizations through "Lean." Learn more. In 1999, the authors discovered a better way to become their best and live a life of impact. One Word that Will Change Your Life will inspire you to simplify your life and work by focusing on just one word for this year.


Join thousands of people and hundreds of schools, businesses, churches, and sports teams who have found their one word… and discover how to harness the transformational power of One Word. The book includes a personal Action Plan and simple process to help you discover your word for the year.
This beautifully illustrated full-color Second Edition includes two new chapters with even more stories demonstrating the impact of embracing the One Word call to action.
It Includes additional material on developing the One Word for teams and families, specifically how a group of people can also have a One Word. Traditional advice would be to ask her to launch immediately into some big fancy exercise program that, since it seemed overwhelming, might not even get started (or might not sustain) — sounds familiar to big programmatic approaches to workplace improvement, right?
He asked Julie to just march one minute… and then the entire commercial break, then two.
Instead of coming back discouraged, as so many failed exercisers do, Julie was more animated, with less resistance in her speech and demeanor…. Maurer says there is certainly a place for larger innovation, but we also need smaller continuous improvements. Let’s say your Lean consultant said you need to do an hour-long Gemba walk every day. We all know we are trying to improve but should Standard Work and more specifically Leader Standard Work be used as your change agent?
There is an age-old (and counterproductive) mindset that says in effect – how I behave at work and how I behave in private life are unrelated.
Instead of creating endless goals and resolutions, they found one word that would be their driving force for the year. It explores the legacy of taking a focused approach to your life and outlines six new dimensions to the Action Plan.
It also Demonstrates how to establish a simple, disciplined, and focused approach to the next year of your life. The simple power of One Word is that it impacts all six dimensions of your life – mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial.


This is a helpful survival instinct when we are in real physical danger, but it’s less helpful when this response is triggered by a change or a new situation at work or in our daily life.
Start small, reinforce the behavior, and you might gradually start enjoying the gemba walks to the point when you are now making time to make them happen. There are ideas in this book that we can all apply to our New Year’s resolutions or other improvements we hope to make.
He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen.
After listening to the first five minutes during the morning commute, I turned it off and instead listened to it when I had the opportunity to focus and take notes.
Combined with positive thoughts and encouragement, these baby steps can lead to larger, sustained changes.
We write a lot about small problems and small improvements in our book, but that’s the starting point.
There is a word meant for you and when you find it, live it, and share it, your life will become more rewarding and exciting than ever.
There will always be little problems even as we start fixing the bigger, more systemic stuff. Everyone can change, but few do because they are not willing to master the incremental steps required to overcome their existing habits. In my years of seeking a pathway to healing for our Native people in Alaska, I have been reading widely about Toxic Stress and its impact of the developing brain.
Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.
Coupled with a no blame, no shame workplace, continuous improvement and training, I truly believed we could reduce workplace stress substantially enough to start making a difference in the other parts of our employee’s lives.



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